New York

Friendly's Closing 23 Restaurants in the Northeast

Friendly's has closed 23 of its restaurants in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Connecticut and New York, according to MassLive.

More than half of the closures are in New York, but the closures also include three stores apiece in Massachusetts and Connecticut, two in New Hampshire and one in Maine.

CEO George Michel said employees at the restaurants being closed will be offered jobs at other Friendly's locations or offered severance.

Michel said the closures "will best position the brand for a bright future."

The Wilbraham-based Friendly's, which first started out in Springfield in 1935, is known in part for its ice cream products, including sundaes, fribbles, and floats, with its restaurants also serving such items as burgers and seafood dishes.

Friendly's declared bankruptcy in 2011, and was sold to Texas-based food and beverage company Dean Foods Company in 2016 for $155 million.

The company now has 174 restaurants -- 77 corporate-owned and 97 franchisee-owned -- down from 254 when the company emerged from bankruptcy in 2012.

Click here for the full list of store closures.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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